Most if not all top sportsbooks in the USA agree that the Golden State Warriors are the odds-on favorites to win the 2016-17 NBA championship. In addition to that, the Warriors are the third most valuable team in the league according to Forbes. Other favorites joining Golden State in the top 10 are the Boston Celtics, the LA Clippers, and the Houston Rockets.
Golden State Warriors ($2,600 Million). The Warriors not only had the best regular season record in league history last season but also the NBA’s highest average cable TV rating (9.76). The value of the Warriors went up a NBA-high 37% and the franchise could challenge the Lakers and Knicks for the league’s highest revenue in their new arena, which is expected to open in 2019 and for which they landed a 20-year naming rights deal from Chase. The Warriors raised $10 million per game at the box office during the NBA Finals. The season ticket waiting list was at 32,000 to start this betting season.
Boston Celtics ($2,200 million). The Celtics have been aggressively pursuing sponsorship opportunities. In early 2016, JetBlue became the team’s official airline and the courtside – as well as the team’s official website – heavily features its name during home games. Not long after hardwood floor care and maintenance company Bona US announced its partnership with the Celtics. In April last, Arbella Insurance Group and Putnam Investments became the co-Presenting Partners of the team’s 2016 postseason run. In January, the Celtics became the third NBA team to ink a jersey sponsorship deal with GE, which is currently headquartered in Boston since last year. The multinational corporation will also become the Celtics’ exclusive data and analytics partner. Boston’s sportsbooks odds are only surpassed by Golden State, Cleveland, and San Antonio.
LA Clippers ($2,000 million). The Clippers renewed their exclusive television deal with Fox Sports Prime Ticket in September. The six-year renewal will net the team around $50 million to $55 million per season starting this season, approximately twice the $25 million Prime Ticket paid them last season. The Clippers averaged a 1.04 rating last season on Prime Ticket, per Nielsen. In other words, they were watched in 57,000 homes in an LA market that includes 5.5 million television homes. Before the team was sold to Steve Ballmer in 2014, Bank of America projected they would get $125 million when its local TV contract was extended. The Clippers have had their four best regular season records in the span of the previous four years.
Houston Rockets ($1,650 million). The team signed James Harden to a $118 million deal extension in July running through 2019-20. Harden had two years left on his original contract and will receive a further $20 million for those two seasons as well as $63 million for the two additional years. The Rockets also signed power forward Ryan Anderson and shooting guard Eric Gordon during the offseason. Both players have helped the Rockets position themselves amongst the Western Conference’s top teams midway through the regular season, while Harden is considered by most sportsbooks to be a strong MVP candidate.